Stranger Things

Where the Heck is Chief Hopper?

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Note: This article contains spoilers for season 3 of Stranger Things. Please read at your own risk, but there is some serious discussions we’re about to get into. Ready for the fan theories? The expectations? Here’s everything we know about what’s coming.

When do we get an answer for that season 3 cliffhanger?!

At the end of season 3 of Stranger Things, everyone was left absolutely stunned. Did they really just kill off Jim Hopper? The character played by David Harbour has become a sleeper fan favorite and many felt it in their very souls as an explosion ripped apart the secret Russian base, and with it, Jim Hopper.

The man that had become the father figure not only to Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven, but an example to middle-aged dads everywhere.

For an entire summer, the show’s fans were left to mourn.  And then the trailer dropped, and there was Jim Hopper.  Bald, but alive.  But where the heck is he? 

Catching Up

Let’s go back and recap a little before we look to the future. 

In The Battle for Starcourt, an intense confrontation happened not only between our beloved kid hero cast but also found Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) fighting against Russian super operatives. As the kids fought the monster known as the Mind Flayer — another D&D reference for those keeping track. 

As Jim and Joyce tried to close the portal to the Upsidedown, the whole place exploded. Soldiers where shown disintegrating and all of our hero’s escaped. But not Jim Hopper. 

He is next shown in the season 4 trailer working on a Russian chain gang, swinging a sledgehammer with other prisoners as they build railroad tracks. It’s come out that Jim Hopper has survived and he is in a snowy work camp in Kamchatka, Russia. 

What we don’t know is how he got there or where the show goes from here.


We do know that our heroes have split up, Eleven has lost her powers, and that Jim Hopper doesn’t appear to like construction work. How did Hopper get to Russia in the first place? Did he escape to the Upsidedown before the explosion and somehow comes out the other side? 

This gets us into wormhole physics but with a show like this, anything is possible. The best bet is to expect the unexpected moving forward. And with Eleven losing her powers, how is Hopper going to be saved? 

There is a theory running around social media that Eleven is infected by the Mind Flayer and that is why she lost her powers. And as the kids always seem to find their true strength together, viewers can expect a lot of conflicts to overcome in season 4.

Given the direction the show has gone in the past, there is no promise that things will work out well. Expecting a Disney perfect ending may be too much to hope for. 

Release Date Pushed

As it stands for now, the release date for season 4 has been pushed back until 2021, leaving fans guessing for a bit longer. Showrunners and writers have stated that in the next season, Stranger Things is going to open up more. Bigger stakes in a bigger world are going to give writers some wonderful storytelling opportunities. 

But until that happens, we can only hope that Jim Hopper can keep on swinging that sledgehammer until season 4 finally drops.